This is the kind of call you hope never to get as a NCO in charge of young troops. Admittedly, this is the kind of call you’re more likely to get in the Active Duty Army; whereas in the Reserves or National Guard you’d be more likely to get a call like this the next day or so (if your chain of command is on the ball and pro-active) or notified when you show up for weekend drill (if your chain of command is… less illustrious).
Being promoted brings all kinds of things– increased pay, slightly better living conditions when deployed, absolute power, and other cool perks. But with it comes some heavy burdens, at least if you have any sense of sympathy and responsibility for the people under you. Young troops seem to excel at getting into trouble and finding out that one of your guys or gals has done something self-destructive can leave you feeling dismayed.
Brad Patterson has a problem with addiction, specifically an addiction to alcohol. This was made obvious way back in their first deployment, and it hasn’t gotten better (these sorts of things don’t just “get better” on their own). He’s going to have a hard time, and it will be one of the many things a young NCO has to balance in the coming stress. When you’re responsible for others, it isn’t just about you any more.